University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Since 1986, Nancy Takahashi has dedicated her life's work to building one of the top educational programs in the country. Nancy's dedication includes successfully advocating for more effective student advising programs to address the physical and mental health of students; organizing all-department annual field trips to expose students to offices and built projects in New York City; and working tirelessly to engage alumni with reunions and fundraising. At UVA, she has provided pro bono services to many landscape projects and served for ten years as chair of UVA's Arboretum and Landscape Committee. Designing landscapes for the underserved and victims of social injustice has also been a core theme of Nancy's service contributions. From projects that include First Lady Michelle Obama's White House Kitchen Garden, to interpreting forgotten histories at the Poston Internment Camp in Arizona, where her father's family and 17,000 other Japanese Americans were imprisoned during WWII, or her design work with a community in West Africa addressing climate change and population growth pressures, she has devoted her leadership and energies to projects and causes that seek to right the wrongs of social histories.